Chief Secretary to Government, Ivan Pomaleu has issued a verbal instruction to all Departmental and Agency Heads to develop anti-corruption policies for their agencies.

The Chief Secretary gave the instruction during the launching of the Department of Prime Minister and National Executive Council’s Anti-Fraud, Anti-corruption and Whistle-blower Protection Policy (AAWP) at the APEC Haus yesterday (17/08/23).

“Our Government has established the legal framework and policy intentions, it is our collective responsibility as stakeholders, government or private sector, all of us will need to develop our own responses to the government intentions,” Mr Pomaleu said.

“This is about building personal accountabilities.”

Mr Pomaleu said the development and launching of the AAWP is the Department’s response to the Government’s intentions, though, this Department may not be the best Department to take the lead in promoting the intentions of the government.

The Chief Secretary informed Prime Minister James Marape that he is pleased that the Department has developed the policy, which is the answer to his political commitment.

“We thought that we should do this, so that you can go out there and comfortably speak on the issues, knowing that your Department is working on getting your house in order.

“To me, the policy means that we are empowering people who will help us in the fight against corruption in the Department and it will hold everyone accountable.”

The Government’s job is to set the policies and guidelines, enact legislations and build integrity institutions, he said.

“We can have all of that but if we do not take personal responsibility or build accountabilities that mainly regulate our own behaviour on a day-to-day basis, then all of that done at the high level will not work.

“We may not bring the kind of commitments that we need to bring to our work space if we do not have that. So, today is about building personal accountabilities.”

He said the Prime Minister has talked about the massive investments that have gone into the Health Sector and Connect PNG program, which is the flagship program of the Government, and also about taking more from our resources for our people, leaving no one behind.

“The Prime Minister also talked about building a K200 billion economy and if public servants are sitting and listening to what he is saying, we will get the sense that the Government is very strong on building the required foundations.

“So that we build a country, in the Prime Minister’s own words, a country that we can live comfortably in when each of us retires.

“And part of the key ideas in building a country is to address the rolling scourge that permeates our society.”

Mr Pomaleu said the rolling scourge that is corruption permeates all the different structures of the society and is leaving a stench that is unpalatable for everyone, most especially the citizens.

“So, we must ask ourselves the question, if we do not address the issues now, then who will? And if the timing is not now, then when would be an appropriate time?

“What good is a strong and resilient country if we are still riddled with corrupt behaviour? What is the full extent of the pull back, based on corruption for a country that wants to move forward?

“How can we have happy and wealthy people if we still have to deal with corrupt behaviours at all levels of society? How much progress could we have made if we did not have to deal with some of those key challenges? What are the missed opportunities that you might have missed?

“If we can answer these questions, we might be able to find a long-term sustainable solution for our challenges,” he said.